A Dungannon born musician has a busy few months ahead with the top Irish artist Hozier, whose tour of the UK gets underway.
Alana Henderson, hailed by critics for “beguiling” performances alongside the Co Wicklow singer, was a guest on BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Friday morning.
The early morning appearance will be quickly followed by a whirlwind raft of European cities, including Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Amsterdam and Paris, before the UK tour commences at the end of this month.
Alana, a former student of St Patrick’s Academy, grew up “surrounded by music”, singing and playing traditional flute with the Armagh Pipers Club (her mother is from the Orchard County).
While at St Patrick’s Academy, Alana took up the cello under the guidance of a “wonderful, inspiring teacher” Stephen Wise from the SELB’s Music Service.
She was living in Belfast, where she studied law at university, when she got the call in 2014 to join Hozier and, since then, she admits, “it’s been a roller-coaster of non stop travel and shows”.
Asked about her plans for the year ahead Alana told the TIMES: “The tour finishes in March 2016 and I’m looking forward to having time to work on some solo material. It’s almost two years since I began touring with ‘Hozier’ and it’s three years since I released my debut EP ‘wax & wane’ so it feels like it’s time to create something new!
“Touring with Hozier has been an incredible experience. I have so much respect for Andrew (Hozier) as an artist and a writer and I’ve been so honoured to witness and partake in his ascent to global acclaim! I’m also really heartened by his model for creating music.
“He never aspired to, or anticipated global success for his music (or himself!) and it certainly wasn’t the motivating force in the creation of his album. He created music that he was proud of and the world responded in kind! Too often it’s the other way around... and I think that honestly listeners can sense the integrity of piece of music! So I’m going to lead by that example and go away and create some music that I’m proud of, so that even if it’s just myself and a handful of people that love it, I’ll be content with that!”